February 4, 2019 9:51AM

Top Spenders in the 115th Congress

In a recent post, we observed that five Representatives and two Senators voted to reduce spending during the 115th Congress. We also noted that democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders voted to spend less than half as much as conservative Senator Marco Rubio.

While Senators Sanders and Rubio voted to spend over $140 billion and $330 billion respectively, they were far from the worst offenders. The fact that Rubio was the seventh‐​lowest spending Senator and the fourth‐​lowest spending Republican Senator, despite voting to spend over $330 billion, is a testament to the lack of fiscal restraint from both parties.

On the other end of the spectrum, eleven Senators and six Representatives tied for the title of top spender by voting for more than $1.9 trillion in new spending during the 115th Congress. These members included twelve Democrats, four Republicans, and one Independent. Top spenders in both the House and the Senate were consistently Democratic, although top‐​spending Representatives were somewhat more likely to be Republican.

With the national debt at nearly $22 trillion and growing rapidly, annual spending increases of nearly $2 trillion are not wise or sustainable. We urge members in both parties to emphasize fiscal responsibility during the 116th Congress.